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Policing During a Pandemic

The following is a guest post from our president, Nicole Banks:

Yesterday, a friend sent me an article about a woman in Houston, Pennsylvania who coughed on an officer and then told him she had COVID-19. This is a situation that Columbus Division of Police officers face daily, to the extent that the Division issued a statement saying they're going to charge people who do this. But beyond that, in the 12 hours before I read that article, three CPD officers had mentioned to me that they'd been coughed on. And those are only the ones who happened to say something.

Police work by its very nature is challenging under the best of circumstances. During a pandemic, it's even more dangerous, and it's very, very hard to change the fundamental work of patrol officers. There will always be a need for officers to go into situations that others are running away from, to go hands-on, to put their safety on the line. It is easy to talk about social distancing, and certainly officers across the country are taking as many precautions as they can. But when it comes to having to arrest a person who's coughing, as Officers Dan Snyder and Alex Mottinger did on Tuesday, they really have few options.

As always, we thank the men and women who protect us. Be safe.


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